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snor·​kel ˈsnȯr-kəl How to pronounce snorkel (audio)
plural snorkels
: a plastic tube that allows a swimmer to breathe while keeping the head or face under the surface of the water
He swam about 250 yards on the surface, using a snorkel to breathe, to get past the barren sandy bottom.Brian Clark
No complicated equipment—just a mask, snorkel, and fins, and you're set to explore a shimmering world of exotic fish and Technicolor coral.Richard Alleman
: a tube housing air intake and exhaust pipes for a vehicle's engine that can be extended above the water's surface so that the engine can be operated while the vehicle is partially or fully submerged
Water entered the snorkel of an Argentine submarine and caused one of its batteries to short circuit before the vessel went missing this month, a navy spokesman said Monday.Chicago Tribune
Most need to be specially modified … with extra ground clearance to get over big rocks, an exhaust snorkel for river crossings, industrial-strength suspension, and an engine with enough torque to power through mud and sand.Jerry Guo


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snorkeled; snorkeling ˈsnȯr-k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce snorkel (audio)

intransitive verb

: to operate or swim submerged using a snorkel
snorkeler noun

Example Sentences

Verb We snorkeled in the Caribbean on our vacation last year.
Recent Examples on the Web
Swim, snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, explore—or just exhale. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 11 Apr. 2023 The Lego Defender wears spare tires on the hood and rear door, while a snorkel sprouts from the hood to help the Land Rover wade through rivers. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 20 Mar. 2023 Three meals a day are included, plus guests can use snorkel gear, paddleboards, kayaks, beach chairs, and more. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 8 Mar. 2023 On the southern coast, Hamanasi Resort offers snorkel and dive trips out to the coral gardens. Michele Bigley, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Jan. 2023 These gifts include gift cards or destination-specific experiences such as a snorkel tour in Hawaii or a private gondola ride in Venice. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 17 Jan. 2023 To support their son, the Casertas bought him a SEAL mask, goggles, fins, snorkel, swimsuit and weightlifting equipment. Christina Fuoco-karasinski, Peoplemag, 2 May 2023 Along the way, excursions include safaris, hikes, dives and snorkels, visits to archaeological sites, and cultural immersions, as well as multi-day excursions to inland destinations, including Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 28 Apr. 2023 For the full up-close experience, however, book a manta ray boat tour for an evening snorkel or scuba adventure. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023
The terrifying incident happened while Marcus McGowan, 51, was snorkeling at a remote vacation resort in northern Queensland. Marisa Sullivan, Peoplemag, 30 May 2023 The 22-year-old Connecticut female, who has not been identified, was snorkeling with friends off the coast of Providenciales island when the shark attacked, according to police. Jon Brown, Fox News, 28 May 2023 The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said the 22-year-old woman was attacked around 3 p.m. local time Wednesday while snorkeling with a friend near the Blue Haven Resort around Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, according to a news release. David Matthews New York Daily News (tns), al, 26 May 2023 The 22-year-old Connecticut woman was snorkeling with a friend in the waters off Providenciales island at around 3 p.m. local time when a shark attacked, according to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Department. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 25 May 2023 Police said the woman and her friend were snorkeling Wednesday just after 3 p.m. outside a resort near the Leeward Marina in Providenciales, one of the islands, when she was attacked. Tj Swigart, NBC News, 25 May 2023 Last year, Hawaii had five attacks, one of which was fatal after a woman went missing in December while snorkeling with her husband off Keawakapu Beach in Maui, the Associated Press reported. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2023 The tropical haven is ideal for travelers looking to snorkel or swim along white-sand beaches and mangrove forests. Adrienne Jordan, Travel + Leisure, 3 Mar. 2023 Sydney is also home to a number of national parks and opportunities to enjoy water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. Nina Derwin, Redbook, 16 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'snorkel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



German Schnorchel

First Known Use


1945, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of snorkel was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near snorkel

Cite this Entry

“Snorkel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
snor·​kel ˈsnȯr-kəl How to pronounce snorkel (audio)
: a tube or tubes that can be extended above the surface of the water to supply air to and remove exhaust from a submerged submarine
: a tube used by swimmers for breathing with the head under water


2 of 2 verb
snorkeled; snorkeling -k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce snorkel (audio)
: to swim underwater using a snorkel

More from Merriam-Webster on snorkel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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